I heard all about this controvery that Porky had gotten:
In 1991, Warner Bros was picketed by the National Stuttering Project (NSP) of San Francisco and sued by an obese New York man who claimed that as a stuttering child he was taunted with the nickname "Porky", demanding that they stop "belittling" stutterers and use Porky Pig as an advocate for child stutterers. The studio refused the NSP but eventually agreed to grant $12,000 to the Stuttering Foundation of America for a 1994 conference. After continued pressure from NSP member Ira Zimmerman, Warner Bros. released a series of public service announcement posters featuring Warner's characters, including Porky, speaking out against harassment and intimidation and in favor of toleration for others with speech and physical impairments. Despite these recent protests, Porky continues to feature in new Warner Bros. animation.
And my question is, do you guys agree? Should Porky stutter less or do you guys think the whole argument was ridiculous?
One must keep in mind that when the character was created, there was no such thing as Political Correctness. The studio wanted Porky to have some sort of unique distinction, so they chose a stutter. That's really all there is to it; it was not meant with malicious or mean-spirited intent.
As for whether he should stutter less, it was more out-of-control when Porky's original voice actor, Joe Doughtery (sp?), who had a genuine stammer, was voicing the character. Dougherty would use up lots of film with his readings, which wasn't cost efficient, so Mel Blanc was brought on who could produce a controlled stammer.
Porky's stuttering never really gets in the way of his ability to express himself, and he's been doing it for over half a century, so why should he stop now?
Here's what "Vicki" said in a 2004 discussion on the Stutt-L archives:
"I think some people make WAAAAAAY too much fuss over Porky. When I was a kid, it never even occurred to me that what Porky was doing was stuttering. I didn't realize that's what it was supposed to be until I was grown and I heard someone mention that it bothered them. I was like, 'Oh, that was supposed to be stuttering? Didn't sound like any I've ever heard.' I think there are PLENTY of things that deserve outrage more than Porky Pig."
(This comes from The Stuttering Homepage, created by Judith Maginnis Kuster, an American Speech-Language and Hearing Association certified speech-language pathologist and a professor emerita in the Department of Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services, Minnesota State University, Mankato.)
I see it that way myself--besides, the way Blanc did it was cute--especially the way Porky would constantly change the last word he was going to say if he could not pronounce it properly. For example in "My Favorite Duck" Porky stutters "You come back with my din--my din--my lunch!"
"Homer,we just brought Flanders back from the dead. Did you use the notebook to make a flock of penguins peck him to death?" Marge-"Murder He Wrote"-a Simpsons Comic story.
Agreed. I don't stutter, but I do have glasses, and while I was still in school a few people called me Harry Potter, which I didn't like. Point is, people who wants to make fun of others will find a way to do it in any case, and removing stuttering, glasses, and other physical deficiencies would be worse since it would send out a message that these people can't do anything. At least they can't be funny. That'd be discrimination in my view.
This sounds like that legally-blind woman who protested the "Mr. Magoo" live-action movie with Leslie Nielsen.
For crying-out-loud, these are cartoon characters... and like Starburst said, they weren't created with any malice aforethought. With regard to Mr. Magoo, the whole nearsighted thing was originally not played up much for laughs. It was the character's cantankerous nature that was the source of much of the humor.
"I'd like to cover you with furs and automobiles!"